WADA president John Fahey states that Iljo Keisse’s ban cannot be sidestepped
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WADA president John Fahey states that Iljo Keisse’s ban cannot be sidestepped

by Shane Stokes at 5:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Says Belgian Court of Appeal ruling was incorrect

Iljo KeisseFollowing recent confusion when Iljo Keisse was allowed compete in Belgium and Zurich but blocked by the UCI from riding Saturday’s Revolution event in Britain, WADA has clarified its position and said that he is unable to race.

The Belgian track specialist tested positive for cathine and the diuretic hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) after his victory in the 2008 Six Days of Ghent. He was cleared of doping charges by a disciplinary committee of the Belgian Cycling Union in November of last year. They decided that the cathine was a degradation of pseudo-ephedrine, found in the legal cold treatment Sinutab, while the HCT was likely due to a contaminated dietary supplement.

This was appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport by WADA, and it decided in July to reintroduce his two year ban. He brought this to the Belgian Court of Appeals, which ruled in his favour last month. He was consequently able to compete in Ghent and Zurich, but prevented from competing in Manchester.

Despite this, Keisse was invited to compete in the Six Days of Rotterdam. WADA has now moved to block this. “Iljo Keisse has been banned for two years following a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decision on 6 July 2010,” said its president John Fahey in a statement. “This decision is valid worldwide and has not been appealed by Mr. Keisse to the Swiss Federal Tribunal. Instead it was brought to the Belgian Court that has, so far, not recognized the CAS decision. Thus, Mr. Keisse has been able to ride on Belgian territory as a result of an interim decision of the Belgian Court which has jurisdiction in Belgium only.”

He went on to say that WADA is not in agreement with how things have been appealed, and believes that the Belgian court ruling unfairly challenges the accepted system.

“WADA fully supports the International Cycling Union (UCI) who recognizes international arbitration, and we commend the enforcement of a final arbitral decision that was taken by CAS in accordance with the applicable rules and Swiss law.

“I am truly concerned of this rather unusual situation in Belgium as it constitutes a threat to the acceptance of CAS as the international sports court for all athletes, and is therefore, a direct affront to clean athletes, and the integrity of clean sport.”

Rotterdam Six Day organiser Frank Boelé had previously suggested his hands were tied. “We cannot prejudge, but when we haven’t received a negative message received from the UCI, the organization has Iljo riding in Rotterdam.

“In addition, in the Keisse judgment the Court attached a fine of €100,000 for anyone who refuses to let him start. For the time being, he is therefore quite simply on the participants list.”

Fahey’s statement should now clarify the situation and once again puts Keisse on the sidelines.

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